So some random stuff:
1. the NF finished Sefer Breishit last week just about one year after starting. At the pace I'm currently writing (1 hour a day, 7 days a week --- I write Friday morning and Motzash), I should be done in another three years. Here's a picture from the start of פרשת ויחי:
2. With the High Holiday Days almost upon us, the NF is getting ready to lead Shacharit Second day R"h and Shacharit at the neighborhood vatikin minyan on Yom Kippur. Right now, I'm petrified I'm going to catch a nasty cold a few days before R"h....
3. The gabbaim at the NF's shul decided that no one should have a chazaka on any particular tefilla.
But for some reason, the gabbaim decided to overlook this issue when they asked the yodeler to lead y"k mincha for the third year running.
Here is what the big gong had to say about that:
From: The Big Gong
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 6:23 PM
To: the NF
Is there any explanation for why the Yoddler managed to get the same slot (actually any slot) three years in a row? Is the Gonging Gabbai in cahoots with the dry cleaner that will be cleaning all the soiled pants (American translation: crapped underpants) after YK?
---- End message ----
To tell you the truth, other than kedusha and kaddish, the yodeler does a respectable job. The last two years he has managed to finish mincha within five minutes of the time allocated to him for mincha. And --- other than kedusha and kaddish --- his nusach is passable. So the gonging gabbai and I were trying to think of ways to tell the yodeler, nicely, not to do his off-key yodeling bit. The problem: every suggestion ended up sounding like this: "Hey yodeler, you know that melody you use for kedusha? It makes people laugh so hard they cry and then they crap and wet themselves. It makes mother's milk turn sour. It causes mixed dancing. It causes our children to turn off the derech. It is probably responsible fo global warming, AIDs, land mines, many cancers and Air Supply. So would you mind not using this year (or ever)."
4. A sign the apaocolypse is coming: The gonging gabbai asked both Mendy and Shloime to daven musaf over the last few weeks and told them not to sing avinu avinu. And they didn't. Shloime did get a bit of a hurt look on his face when he was told not to do it.
5. This coming motzash I have my annual hot date with a neighborhood buddy to go hear a chazan and choir for first selichot. This year, we are going to hear Shlomo Glick accompanied by Srulik Herstik's awesome choir.
6. The guy leading kol nidrei this year at the NF's shul asked me to record my nusach...so I downloaded recording software onto my PC. Now my kids like to sneak itno the office, open the software and record themselves singing Shama lama ding dong as sung by Otis Day (shlit"a) and the Knights in the heilige movie Animal House. (you can guess who taught the little NFs (ages 8, 6, 4 and 2) how to sing that song).
7. If anyone has any R"h/Y"k nusach questions, email them in and I'll try to answer with accompanying recordings. Please don't ask me questions about Y"k musaf --- I've never learned it.